Fleshbot Sheds Staff, Reassigns Those Staying On

Slav Kandyba
CYBERSPACE — Company-wide layoffs at Gawker Media will affect its subsidiary, sex culture website Fleshbot, a source told XBIZ Monday.

On Friday, Gawker founder Nick Denton announced in a memo that 19 employees would be laid off across its family of blogs, as a response to the souring economy and as a measure to please advertisers.

Denton didn’t return emails seeking comment to confirm the number of employees to be laid off at Fleshbot.

Gram Ponante, who has contributed to Fleshbot as a “senior erotic consultant,” told XBIZ that the site was undergoing “a few redistributions of efforts” related to the layoffs.

“Lux Altpraum will take over as editor and will be responsible for making sure the site, with fewer contributors, still churns out 18 or so stories a day,” Ponante said.

With the move, founding editor John D’Addario would become an “emeritus” contributor who files an “occasional dispatch as he feels like it,” Ponante told XBIZ.

The cutbacks, Ponante said, reflect what he views as “the understanding that people are getting more and more of their porn for free, as well as that the taboos that drive interest in seeking out porn for porn’s sake are fading away.

“That Denton has eliminated positions from Fleshbot and shifting resources to his car and gadget sites simply reflects a canny emphasis on putting staff where advertisers are most likely to see increased [return on investment],” Ponante said.